Sunday, August 9, 2020

Column: Halloween isn't what it used to be now that I'm an adult

October 30, 2019
<p>Pumpkins and decorations photographed in The State News newsroom Oct. 29, 2019</p>

Pumpkins and decorations photographed in The State News newsroom Oct. 29, 2019

Photo by Katie O'Brien Kelley | The State News

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love Halloween. The scary movies, the creepy clothes, the pumpkin... everything. I love it. 

The moment I see that first rustic-colored leaf brush along the wind and land on the ground, I pull out my favorite boots, grab a cozy sweater and change my Twitter layout to something a bit more spooky. 

Halloween reminds me of the happy medium time of year — when I can wear a sweater and some jeans rather than worry about how heavy my coat is or if the straps of my tank top are too small. 

During Halloween, we finally get to shed light on all of the stuff we repress the rest of the year. We take on our fears head on (haunted houses), talk about the tough parts of life (lots of death stuff) and even get to become a different person (costumes), all while enjoying some delicious apple cider and donuts. 

Absolutely nothing compares to this time of year. However, sadly it seems like, as our lives go on, Halloween isn’t what it used to be.

When we were little, the process was simple. My mom would take me to our local Halloween pop-up store, where I would admire the hundreds of characters I could become, until I ultimately chose one and then left the store in excitement awaiting the day I could flaunt it and collect all sorts of candy from strangers’ porches. 

My final “perfect” childhood Halloween happened around the age of seven. 

All of my older cousins were still old enough to trick-or-treat with me, and our parents took us a little farther north of the state — or as we liked to call it, “where the rich people live” — to trick-or-treat. 

No Halloween night had ever compared to this one. I was dressed as Violet from "The Incredibles," and my candy bag was filled to the tippy top in the finest collection of full-sized candy bars I had acquired from the daunting higher-class homes. From then on, I knew every single Halloween had to be as good as that one. 

I remember coming home and immediately planning what I was going to be the following year — the sugar rush hit me like a bullet. But, as the following year came around, I realized no one else was going to trick-or-treat with me. 

My little sister was too little and my older cousins were probably going off to a party. The weather was terrible and my beautiful Hannah Montana costume from Sam’s Club had to be covered by a big and poofy coat my mom made me wear so I didn’t get sick. 

That Halloween sucked. 

I kept trying to relive the glory of my earlier Halloweens, but I ultimately realized it was never going to be the same.

Now that I’m 18 and in college, things have gotten a little different.

If you don’t go to a party, you really end up doing basically nothing. Not to mention the fact that now I have to actually worry about what I look like in my costume.

We went from wearing innocent princess costumes to now trying to find creative ways to flaunt ourselves or convey our sense of humor to strangers. It sucks. Heck, I don’t even like candy anymore either. 

So many of the good parts about Halloween get ruined for us the older we get, and it can be hard to find light — or should I say darkness — in the holiday. There are so many cool aspects that come with Halloween, and it sucks that sometimes we forget about them.

Despite this, you will never catch me saying anything truly negative about the wonderfully spooky holiday. 

Although we plan our activities and our costumes at the last minute and go to parties or watch movies instead of trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins, there is so much about the holiday that keeps it in the God-tier. 

As we get older, Halloween changes even more, but we form more and more memories to look back on. We used to love Halloween because it was a day for us to dress up and get candy, but one day we’ll love Halloween because it will be a day for us to take our own children to do the same. 

All I know for sure is that no matter how different it gets, for as long as I am alive — maybe after, too — I will love Halloween.

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